Last weekend I ran the Sporting Life 10k. It is one of my favourite races… it is so fun to fly down Yonge street and then suffer to fort York. It took me until the Wednesday before the race to decide if I would actually race or not. I knew I was not necessarily in ‘racing shape’. Considering I had run a marathon 5 weeks before and taken a week off and had only completed two workouts. But the workouts went decently well. So, we decided to go for it. The goal of the race was to race. I know that seems obvious, but I am not good at racing. I am good at executing a plan… until I start to fail, not necessarily racing my competitors and I think it has affected my performance. I am very competitive with myself but not so much against others.
The other goal of racing Sporting Life 10k was to put myself in an uncomfortable situation. Which when I heard who was competing I knew it was going to be. I won Sporting Life the last two years and when I heard of the speedsters that were going to be on the starting line this year I knew that even at me best I would not win. But I must say I am so beside myself to even be able to consider myself competing with these other super fast women!!
One of the reasons I was hesitant to race was the fact that I knew that I would not win and I did not want to have to answer to people why I did not win. But in the end this was the biggest reason to do it. I got asked a bunch before the race ‘if I was going to win’… my response to this is it’s a race we have to run it to see who wins. It was a good exercise in putting myself in an uncomfortable situation for sure.
So how did I deal with all of this? I went in to the race with NO EXPECTATIONS…who knew you could go in to a race and not expect anything out of it? It was a pretty nice feeling. Now I am not saying you should never have expectations in a race. But leave that for the goal race. Sometimes the point of racing is just to race and give a hard effort on the day. It was actually so nice to finish the race and just leave it there. Nothing had to come home with me because I was not expecting anything out of it. And I ran a solid 25s slower than last year but I did not let it phase me.
I typically never race unless I feel really ready. I think this has stemmed from concentrating on the marathon and not having the time to race as much due to not wanting to miss a long run. So, I think it is important to spend this downtime doing some races but not getting hung up on the results. At the end of the day my goals are focused in the marathon.
I have so much respect for all the people that get out there and race whether they know they are at their best fitness or not. And I aim to be more like this. It is always fun to be a part of the community and get out there and race. We are so lucky to have this amazing running community in Toronto. I think it is important to get out and celebrate it… race ready or not!
So how did the race go? I went out in true Brittany style… hard and then died, my coach told me to get to 5k and then see what happens… I got to 5k and then it was not pretty. But then again that was the point to be uncomfortable… and I definitely hit that goal!
Now getting back to me not being good at racing. This race really epitomized this… I got passed on the line. So it really just emphasized the need for me to race more… ready or not.
I think there is definitely something to take away from this even when it comes to our goal races. If we can leave some of the stress and expectations behind I think we could really enjoy and embrace the process a lot more! And when we do that who knows what is possible…
I think when we take the expectations and pressure off we allow ourselves to really learn and grow. I am excited to see what is to come!!
See you on the roads!!!
PS. CONGRATS to everyone who CRUSHED it, I heard of a lot of PBs!!!